Oregon, United States -based NuScale Power, that designs and markets small modular reactors (SMRs) -- nuclear reactors that generates generally 300 MWe equivalent of energy or less, has announced today that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) completed Phase 6 review—the last and final phase—of the Design Certification Application (DCA) for the company’s groundbreaking small modular reactor (SMR) with the issuance of the Final Safety Evaluation Report (FSER), which means the completion of the technical review and approval of the NuScale SMR design.

With this final phase of NuScale’s DCA now complete, customers can proceed with plans to develop NuScale power plants with the understanding that the NRC has approved the safety aspects of the NuScale design.

NuScale's SMR designs are for its 65 feet tall x 9 feet high reactor vessels that use conventional light water cooling methods and runs on low enriched uranium fuel assemblies based on existing light water reactor designs.

Earlier in April 2019, NuScale announced that it was developing a 1-10 MWe "simple and inherently safe compact heat pipe cooled reactor" that "requires little site infrastructure, can be rapidly deployed, and is fully automated during power operation." Partners include Additech, INL, and Oregon State University. The project follows solicitation of ideas and designs from the US Department of Defense and the Department of Energy. 
A diagram depicting a NuScale reactor. [ credit - NuScale / CC BY-SA ]
An artist’s rendering of NuScale Power’s small modular nuclear reactor plant. Photo courtesy of NuScale

NuScale’s DCA was completed in December 2016 and accepted by the NRC in March 2017. The review process demonstrated both the simplicity of NuScale’s SMR design and the thoroughness of the company’s application. As an example, during the rigorous Phase 1 review process, which included 115,000 hours spent reviewing the DCA, the NRC issued far fewer requests for additional information compared to other design certification applications. NuScale spent over $500 million, with the backing of Fluor, and over 2 million labor hours to develop the information needed to prepare its DCA application. The company also submitted 14 separate Topical Reports in addition to the over 12,000 pages for its DCA application and provided more than 2 million pages of supporting information for NRC audits.

This is a significant milestone not only for NuScale, but also for the entire U.S. nuclear sector and the other advanced nuclear technologies that will follow. This clearly establishes the leadership of NuScale and the U.S. in the race to bring SMRs to market. The approval of NuScale’s design is an incredible accomplishment and we would like to extend our deepest thanks to the NRC for their comprehensive review, to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for its continued commitment to our successful private-public partnership to bring the country’s first SMR to market, and to the many other individuals who have dedicated countless hours to make this extraordinary moment a reality.

said NuScale Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Hopkins.
"Additionally, the cost-shared funding provided by Congress over the past several years has accelerated NuScale’s advancement through the NRC Design Certification process. This is what DOE’s SMR Program was created to do, and our success is credited to strong bipartisan support from Congress."

The simulator control room at NuScale Power's small modular reactor design facility in Oregon. Photo courtesy of NuScale

NuScale Power has developed a new modular light water reactor nuclear power plant to supply energy for electrical generation, district heating, desalination, and other process heat applications. This groundbreaking small modular reactor (SMR) design features a fully factory-fabricated NuScale Power Module™ capable of generating 60 MW of electricity using a safer, smaller, and scalable version of pressurized water reactor technology. NuScale's scalable design—a power plant can house up to 12 individual power modules—offers the benefits of carbon-free energy and reduces the financial commitments associated with gigawatt-sized nuclear facilities. The majority investor in NuScale is Fluor Corporation, a global engineering, procurement, and construction company with a 60-year history in commercial nuclear power.

NuScale is headquartered in Portland, OR and has offices in Corvallis, OR; Rockville, MD; Charlotte, NC; Richland, WA; and London, UK.

NuScale competes with other similar SMR makers like Hyperion, Holtec, General Atomics, and Hybrid Power Technologies, among others.

Last year in June, Holtec signed a partnership agreement with Ukraines Energoatom and Ukraine's national nuclear consultant, State Scientific and Technical Centre for Nuclear and Radiation Safety (SSTC-NRS), to establish a consortium to explore the environmental and technical feasibility of qualifying a 'generic' SMR-160 system that can be built and operated at any candidate site in the country. This would establish a reactor design capability in Ukraine, with a view to it becoming a regional hub for selling such reactors in Europe, Asia and Africa.
~ with inputs from Businesswire

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